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DESERTEC is a hugely ambitious plan to supply Europe with 15% of its energy requirements from renewable sources, mostly concentrated solar power plants, based in Northern Africa and connected to the EU grid by underwater cables to Spain.
The idea was feasible, the theory great, and the necessary support and backing was provided by various governments and organisations.
Desertec has just been dealt a massive blow which asks some serious questions about its future. Siemens and Bosch have both pulled out of the project in recent weeks, as have the Spanish government.
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Dr. Daniel Ayuk Mbi Egbe, an expert on African solar energy, said that, “Siemens and Bosch are very big companies, if they don't want to support this initiative it is going to be difficult for DESERTEC.”
The loss of the two industrial giants will be difficult to survive, but possible due to the calibre of the other companies that make up the DESERTEC consortium, however if this news leads the way for others to get cold feet and state their lack of interest in continuing with the plans.
The Spanish government has withdrawn from signing an agreement to build solar power plants in Morocco, but remain a part of the overall venture.
Professor Peter Droege, the head of the European association for renewable energy (Eurosolar), believes that the DESERTEC project “is struggling to find a reason to continue - It is clear it's lost its original purpose, it is looking for a new direction.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com